Florida lawmakers have watered down some of their original voter suppression policies due the negative reactions they see from the Georgia Laws…
Walking it back? — As Republicans nationally engage in a fierce war of words and talk of boycotts amid the fallout from Georgia’s elections overhaul (and Major League Baseball’s decision to yank the All-Star Game from Atlanta), the GOP-controlled Florida House is starting to pare back its election legislation.
Stricken — A House panel revamped a 51-page elections bill Thursday evening (don’t you love late-night meetings?). One key passage that was stricken from the bill? A blanket prohibition on handing out food and water to voters standing within 150-feet of polling places.
Changes — The initial Florida House proposal did not go as far as the language in the Georgia law, which bans anyone from coming within 25 feet of voters anywhere in line, that drew the ire of President Joe Biden and voting rights advocates. Still, Rep. Blaise Ingoglia, the former chairman of the Republican Party of Florida and the bill’s sponsor, swapped in softer wording that says it would be illegal for someone to be in that zone with the intent of “influencing a voter.”
Violations could still occur — Ingoglia, however, warned that candidates could still violate the provision. “If Ron DeSantis started walking up and down the line, handing out stuff to voters in line within the 150 feet, I’d dare to say your nominee would say he was trying to influence the vote.”
Georgia on my mind? — He also told reporters after the meeting that he wasn’t making the change in response to Georgia. “I don’t care what people are saying in Georgia. What I care about is Florida and our election laws,” Ingoglia said.
P.O.V. — Ingoglia — who asserted that Florida already offers much more access to voting than Democratic-run states such as New York — also dared corporations to “say we are restricting access to the polls.” That said, Democrats on the House Appropriations Committee still voted against the legislation. The measure imposes restrictions on the use of drop boxes and who can pick up and deliver mail-in ballots….